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Ukraine breaks diplomatic relations with Russia: President Zelenskyy

Kiev [Ukraine]: Soon after Russia launched its military operations in the Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday announced the decision of severing his country's diplomatic relations with Moscow. "Kiev is terminating diplomatic relations with Moscow amid Russia's military operation," the Russian News Agency Sputnik quoted Zelenskyy as saying. Ukraine gained independence in 1991 after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. "We have severed diplomatic relations with Russia," Zelenskyy said. The Ukrainian authorities will inform the press on how the situation unfolds every hour, he added. While speaking, Zelenskyy switched to the Russian language to address "Russian people.""I know that this information is absolutely not shown on your TV channels, a lot of things are blocked in social networks. But blocking is evil, ... it is impossible to block history," he said, before switching back to the Ukrainian language, Sputnik reported. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin said special military operations are being launched "to protect" the people in the Donbas region. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences". Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in the Donbas region. Amid Russia's military operations, Ukraine has introduced martial law and urged citizens to remain calm. Ukraine has closed the airspace for civilian aircraft "due to the high risk of aviation safety." Defending Russia's decision to take military action in the Donbas region, the Russian envoy to the UN Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya said that the Russian operation is aimed to protect residents in eastern Ukraine.

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